The accused attackers of Steve Utash have been charged with attempted murder and assault. And ethnic intimidation. Police are looking into whether the attack on Mr. Utash was racially motivated.
What to think, what to think.
One might argue that having extra laws involved with what is essentially a single act could lead to greater justice. If a felon can't be caught through one law he might be hanged by another, or when one action involves several laws then we might pile on the justice as a punitive measure. Yet that reeks too much of vengeance, and revenge is not a good motivator for justice. So that point is easily dismissed.
It is easy to say that this is good in the sense that at least the laws are being applied equally. Anyone now can be charged with a hate crime, which is worth something on a certain level. What's good for the goose, as they say. Yet the unasked question seems rather obvious: is it good for the goose?
Hate crimes after all are bad policy. Being based on thoughts and not actions, and being that names never actually hurt, it is a very dangerous, ahem, thought that what we merely think should be held illegal. Our thoughts may well be sins, things evil in themselves, yes. But such are also theological issues between God and man. Real crimes are between man and man and must be addressed, for the sake of having as civil of a society as human ability may create.
That our society may now being applying the idea of hate crimes across the board does not justify them. If the alleged attackers are guilty of attempted murder and assault, then that ought to serve justice. And that ought to be all we need think about.